Frequently featuring experimentalists and emerging new writers, CONJUNCTIONS is a literary journal published twice a year by Bard College. In this special issue, editor Bradford Morrow has collected multicultural folk and fairy tales and combined them with contemporary fables by James Purdy, Lydia Davis, Russell Edson, and a wide spectrum of talented writers from Yugoslavia, Puerto Rico, India, Nigeria, Italy, and China to create a truly irresistible compilation of the marvelous.
The stories include a Puerto Rican tale of a half chicken that developed from a magic half egg, a Romanian story of an enchanted pig, a tale of a kind old horse that becomes a unicorn, and a fable about a parakeet that fools a marauding cat. These are not children’s tales, but, for the most part, sophisticated stories for adult readers. Jacques Roubaud’s “Three Tales from the Tale Known as the Princess Hoppy or the Labrador Tale” is a sly parody of the fairy tale genre itself; Lynne Tillman’s “Madame Realism: A Fairy Tale” is an urbane examination of one of the form’s basic conventions; Paola Capriolo’s “The Woman of Stone” is a haunting fantasy of art and love; and David Rattray’s “How I Became One of the Invisible” is a metaphysical parable of loss of identity. Ranging in tone from the ribald to the romantic and from the comic to the cosmic, these stories are to be sampled in small bits; however, they are so addictive, it would be hard to read just one.